Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A daily dose of pistachios offers potential heart health benefits

12.06.2007
New research, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, finds a 4-week pistachio diet, containing moderate amounts of heart healthy fat, improves risk factors for heart disease with no weight gain

Adding to a growing body of evidence, new research shows that a daily dose of pistachios may offer protective benefits against cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Volume 26, Number 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

The study, conducted by James N. Cooper M.D., of George Mason University and Michael J. Sheridan, Sc.D., of Inova Fairfax Hospital, found that in people with moderately high cholesterol levels, a daily diet consisting of 15% of calories from pistachios (about two to three ounces or one to two handfuls of kernels) over a four-week period favorably improved some blood lipid levels.

"These results are exciting because the research indicates that adding pistachios to the daily diet can help protect the heart without a dramatic dietary lifestyle change," said Dr. James Cooper. "This research challenges the previously-held belief that a low-fat diet is best for heart health. Studies now show that a diet with a moderate amount of healthful monounsaturated fat, like the kind found in pistachios, is a more effective way to prevent heart disease than reducing overall fat intake. What's more, we noted very good compliance and a positive response from participants during the four-week period."

About Blood Lipids and Heart Disease

High levels of most blood lipids increase the risk of developing both heart disease and stroke while lowering blood lipid levels has been shown to reduce the risk. Lipids join with protein in the blood to form lipoproteins, known as cholesterol. There are three kinds of lipoproteins in the blood including high-density cholesterol (HDL); low-density cholesterol (LDL); and very low-density (VLDL) cholesterol. A normal total cholesterol level is 200 mg/dL or less; a normal LDL level is 130 mg/dL or less.

About the Study

In a randomized crossover trial, 15 free-living humans with moderately high blood cholesterol (greater than 210 mg/Hg) were given a diet where 15% of daily calories came from pistachios to see if it would have a significant impact on their blood lipid levels. All subjects consumed their normal diets during a five-day baseline period. Then, half the subjects were randomized to the pistachio diet for four weeks followed by four weeks on the regular diet; the other half followed the diets in reverse order. Subjects were instructed to substitute the pistachio nuts for normally consumed high-fat snacks. Subjects who did not normally consume high-fat snacks were asked to substitute pistachio nuts as fat calories. Otherwise, subjects consumed their normal diets.

Cardioprotective Shift in Some Important Blood Lipids

On the pistachio diet, statistically significant reductions were seen in TC/HDL-C (mean difference,-0.38; 95% CI, -0.57 to -0.19; p=0.001), LDL-C/HDL-C (mean difference, -0.40; 95% CI, -0.66 to -0.15; p=0.004), B-100/A-1 (mean difference, -0.11; 95% CI, -0.19 to -0.03, p=0.0009) and a statistically significant increase in HDL-C (mean difference, 2.3; 95% CI, 0.48 to 4.0; p= 0.02). Subjects consumed less saturated fat and more polyunsaturated fat and fiber. Statistically significant differences favoring the pistachio diet were observed for some blood lipid values, predictors of heart disease.

No Weight Gain on the Pistachio Diet

Subjects on the pistachio diet showed no changes in blood pressure, body mass index, or weight gain; further supporting previous studies which have also demonstrated no weight gain from the addition of pistachios to a daily diet. Nut consumption, in general, is associated with a lower body mass index and has not been shown to cause weight gainƒ¡.

Source of Heart Healthy Fats; Nutrient Dense Snack Choice

Most of the fat in pistachios -- almost 90% - is "good" or monounsaturated fat, which can lower blood cholesterol along with heart disease2. Monounsaturated fat comprises 55% of the fat in pistachios; 32% is polyunsaturated. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease when they replace saturated fats in the diet3. Of all snack nuts, pistachios offer the highest level of phytosterols, and are a powerful source of fiber, both of which reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the diet4,5. Pistachios make a wise snack choice as they are contain dense levels of eight nutrients including thiamin, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium, fiber, phosphorus and magnesium.

Pistachios Carry FDA's First-Ever Qualified Heart Health Claim

The study further affirms the FDA's first-ever qualified claim for heart health, issued in July 2003, which states: "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."

Sonya Grigoruk | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.paramountfarms.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>